Christmas Dinner really isn’t Christmas Dinner without a pudding, but how many of you, like me, are put off making one because they need to be boiled for hours and then stored for months? I used to be very good and make one every year, and every year it was a disappointment because it was too dry, or oh no! it was burnt because I hadn’t kept an eye on the water level in the pan that I was boiling the pud in, and it had boiled dry. In the end I gave up and stopped making them and our Christmases became puddingless.
Then, years later I was working as a cookery journalist for Your Channel on MKTV and was asked whether I had a microwave recipe for a Christmas Pudding. Well I hadn’t, but I went straight into action to produce one. After a bit of experimenting this is what I came up with. It really is a very quick and easy pudding, and the beauty of it is that you could even make it on Christmas Day if you wanted to, and it would still be yummy and moist.
This recipe has been tested in a 600 watt microwave oven.
A few microwave tips for you
- When covering the bowl you can do it two different ways. Either place a plate/saucer over the top or cover it with cling film. If you use cling film don’t forget to pierce it before placing in the microwave.
- Always place the bowl or plate that you’re using to cook in, on the outer edge of the microwave.
- If the full cooking time given in a recipe is 10 mins for example, then you need to set your timer for half that time, i.e. 5 mins, and then either stir if the mixture is liquid, or turn the dish around and cook for a further 5 mins. Doing this allows the food to cook more evenly through and you will get a better result. You wont need to worry about doing that with this recipe because I always give step by step instructions that includes stirring or turning, in the method.
- Always allow the standing time because the food is till “cooking” even though it is out of the microwave.
- Always use a cloth when removing items from the microwave. You don’t want to burn yourself.
3 oz Breadcrumbs
4 oz Dark brown sugar (I use muscavado)
1 tsp Mixed spice
½ tsp Ground cinnamon
4 oz Shredded suet (I use the light one)
14 oz mixed dried fruit
2 oz Glace cherries, choppped
Juice and rind of one orange
2 medium sized eggs, lightly beaten
1½ Tbls Black Treacle
2½ Tbls Guiness or other dark beer
1 Tbls milk
You will need a 2 pt or two 1 pt pudding basins, greased well. I have used four small puds using ramekin dishes and one 1 pt pudding basin. For the best results, I suggest you use a 2 pt pudding basin for your first attempt.
Lightly beat the egg in a jug or medium bow, add the milk, black treacle, beer and milk. Beat the mixture well to combine all the ingredients.
Pour the liquid mixture over the dried ingredients and stir well so that the liquid gets thoroughly mixed into the dry ingredients.
Now, this is very important, do not forget to make a wish. In fact, the whole family will need to come and give the mixture a stir (anti-clockwise) and to make a wish. This a long standing tradition that cannot be broken and really, would you want to?
Spoon the mixture into the prepared bowl or bowls, place a circle of parchment paper on the top and cover with a plate or clingfilm (if you use clingfilm don’t forget to pierce it) and cook on FULL power for 5 mins, don’t forget to place the bowl on the outer edge.
Turn the pudding and microwave for a further 5 mins on FULL power
Allow to stand for 5 mins before serving with cream, custard, brandy butter or ice-cream. In fact you can choose any topping you like.
The pudding can be made in advance of Christmas day. To reheat it you will need to cover and cook it on FULL power for 3-4 mins.
Finally, there is a very old tradition of placing sixpences into the pudding for the lucky eater to find, hopefully before they swallow it! As we no longer have sixpences you could use a 5p or 20p as a substitute. Please make sure that you wash them before putting them in the pudding and do not put them in the pudding until after you have cooked it! There could be a nasty accident if you do. My mum became very practised with slight of hand when putting the sixpences into our individual portions (she did it this way to make sure no-one was disappointed) and so did I when I later had my own family.